Editorials

Crash and burn

By the

March 22, 2001


It is no wonder that our generation used to say that we wanted to be astronauts when we grew up. They are really smart and have really high-tech plans. Look at the case of the Mir space station (even though it was built by non-capitalist pigs). The way the Russians have decided to retire the space station is pure genius.

Most of the 135-ton Mir should burn up upon entry into the Earth’s atmosphere, but about 40 tons of the remaining debris is expected to fall into the ocean between New Zealand and Chile at 17,500 miles per hour. Some of these pieces (about 1,500 are expected to fall) will be the size of small cars, weighing a mere 1,500 pounds.

There is absolutely no reason why anyone should be worried.
According to Colonel Norman Black of the U.S. Space Command, there are two billion-to-one odds that you will be hit by falling debris. Considering that earth’s population is about six billon, only three people are going to be hit by flaming hot pieces of metal the size of a Dodge Neon. No big deal, right?

The orbit of the defunct galactic cruiser only goes over about 85 percent of the world’s population. It skips Moscow, which is an interesting coincidence. It would be really unlikely that the rocket engine would quit. Obviously, the commies have taken a lot of precautions. According to Russian space officials, they have just enough fuel on board to get Mir out of orbit, and they have one whole chance to do it correctly. They compare their high tech ability to direct the space station to skipping a stone?you can aim Mir, you just really don’t know where it is going to go.

The global community is taking a lot of precautions. A CNN Online article (which ran a couple days after its article “What are the odds Mir will land on your head?”) reported that authorities in Fiji warned the population not to go outside after Thursday, to stay off boats and to avoid touching “foreign objects,” such as flaming hot pieces of metal that have fallen from the sky. Japan, Australia and New Zealand also might order people to stay in their homes. The United States said that if it looks like pieces are going to hit our territory, they will put out a warning kind of like the severe weather warning which would give people less than an hour to react. But Moscow’s covered?they took out a $200 million insurance policy in case something went awry.

Again, please do not be alarmed. Russia has had a great track record with this space station. They only lost control of it for a little while when the batteries went dead last December. Remember, this is the country that brought you one-eyed fish due to radiation. There is absolutely nothing to worry about.



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